BookPage has relocated to France!
I wish. In fact, at this very moment our Web Editor Trisha Ping and Editor Lynn Green are both on vacation in Paris. Lynn sent us these photos with the note that she and Trisha have just had an editorial meeting in a Parisian cafe.
Here's what we really want to know: What are they reading on vacation? Is Trisha's bag (in the photo to the right) weighted down with French novels??
Although the weather in Nashville is beautiful, Trisha and Lynn's coworkers are all very jealous!
What's your favorite book about Americans abroad? (I'll give a shout-out to Tom Rachman's best-selling debut, The Imperfectionists.)
Bon voyage, Trisha and Lynn!
A book club favorite for novels like The Sparrow and A Thread of Grace [read our interview], Mary Doria Russell has never been afraid to take on new frontiers. That's exactly what she's doing in her fifth novel (after 2008's Dreamers of the Day), Eight to Five, Against, which will be published by Random House in May 2011. The book stars gunslinger Doc Holliday and his longtime girlfriend Kate, aka "Big Nose Kate," and takes place over one fateful summer in Dodge City, Kansas. It's a big change from the settings of Russell's previous works, which focused on either Europe's more recent past—Dreamers, Thread—or the future—Sparrow, Children of God.
While researching the novel, Russell "learned to ride horses, play classical piano and even reread all the Greek and Latin classics beloved by Doc and Kate," according to the Random House catalog.
What bookish blog posts did you most enjoy this week? A few of my picks are below.
The Century (Post) Mark, and What I've Learned From Readers
Posted by Greg on The New Dork Review of Books
The New Dork Review of Books is a new-ish book blog I get a kick out of reading regularly. This particular post marks Gerg's 100th post—and highlights a few of the things he's learned while blogging. (For example, EPL author Elizabeth Gilbert had a book contract prior to her spiritual journey. The shame!)
Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie
Posted by Sarah on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
Lately I've been thinking about reading my first Jennifer Crusie book—especially after Jennifer Weiner and The Book Lady blogged about her, and Amy Scribner called her "one of the most deeply satisfying writers around" in the September issue of BookPage. Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, one of the best romance blogs around, weighed in this week, sharing conflicted feelings about Crusie's latest. Definitely worth a read (and a blog worth bookmarking if you're into romance).
Awards & Nominations
Posted by Book Blogger Appreciation Week
Since it's BBAW, after all, I figured I'd direct you to an excellent list of book blogs—the BBAW nominations and awards page! If you're looking to find some new book blogs of all persuasions—literary fiction, industry, fantasy, YA, GLBT and more—this roundup is where it's at.
Have you discovered any new blogs thanks to this year's BBAW?
The rumors were correct:
Oprah's Book Club is reading Freedom by Jonathan Franzen—an epic family saga that has it all—sex, love…even rock 'n' roll! Get your complete reader's guide and start reading today. Plus, follow the reading calendar, and you'll finish the book in time for our book club discussion with Jonathan Franzen.
Do you agree with BookPage mystery columnist Bruce Tierney that Karin Slaughter's books are "superbly crafted, relentlessly plot-driven and populated with admirably flawed characters"?
If so, then you'll be happy to learn that Slaughter has signed a deal to write two new books. They'll be set in Atlanta and feature characters from both her Atlanta and Grant County series. The first book, Fallen, will be published in May 2011.
Publisher's Marketplace also notes that Slaughter is "in talks for her novels to be turned into a television series."
Are you a fan?
If you're into teen books—especially paranormal teen books starring tough girls (written by smart chicks)—then you will not want to miss this event.
Author tours are usually organized by the publisher. All we have to do is show up, which is great, but we started thinking maybe we'd like to try something different. Organize our own tour, just the way we want it. Pick the cities. Pick the authors. Organize the events. So, in Sept 2010, we'll do just that.
Tonight they're in Jackson, MS, at Lemuria Books. Later in the month, they'll also be in Arizona, California, Illinois, Ohio and Ontario.
Is anyone going to check out the tour?
Also: What's the most memorable book tour event you've ever attended?
Ann Packer, author of The Dive from Clausen's Pier and Songs Without Words will release a new book on April 12, 2011. Knopf is calling Swim Back to Me "her strongest work yet—a collection of burnished, impossible-to-put down narratives framed by two stunning, linked novellas."
Here's more from the publisher:
A wife struggles to make sense of her husband’s sudden disappearance. A mother mourns her teenage son through the music collection he left behind. A woman shepherds her estranged parents through her brother’s wedding and reflects on the year her family collapsed. A young man comes to grips with the joy—and vulnerability—of impending fatherhood. And, in the masterly opening novella, two teenagers from very different families—one a tightly knit foursome, the other a father and son who share little more than having been abandoned by the same woman—forge a sustaining friendship, only to discover the disruptive and unsettling power of sex.
Are you a fan of Packer? Will you look forward to her new release?
This photo has been circulating online, and "three anonymous booksellers" (according to Publisher's Marketplace) have confirmed the sticker is authentic:
The official announcement isn't until tomorrow, but I'd love to know readers' thoughts on this choice.
Do you agree with Jennifer Weiner, who tweeted:
At this point I'd be pretty excited if Oprah picked FREEDOM. Watching the Franz go through the interview, hometown video...must-see TV.
Obvs it would be great if Oprah introduced a great debut lady writer who's gotten no press. But if that won't happen...
I don't think any of us need a refresher, but just in case—here's a link about Franzen's infamous Oprah scandal of 2001.
This week's recipe is another delectable dessert option from The Perfect Finish, by Bill Yosses, a cook "so skilled at making divine desserts that he crosses party lines with impunity," [Read our full review here]. If you are looking to run for office, you could definitely get a few votes with this sinfully rich pudding.
Special Equipment: Sifter, food processor, 8 (6-ounce) ramekins or teacups, ?or a large decorative bowl
Softly whipped cream, for serving
About ½ pound bittersweet chocolate for curls
1. Sift the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper. Place the egg and yolks in a bowl, sprinkle the sugar mixture over them, and whisk to combine. Add a few tablespoons of milk to soften the mixture.
2. In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse the chocolate until it is finely chopped.
3. Over medium heat, bring the milk and vanilla bean seeds or vanilla extract to a boil. Whisking constantly, gradually pour the hot milk over the egg mixture. Return this liquid to the saucepan, continuing to whisk constantly, and cook over low heat, stirring, until the mixture has thickened and just begun to bubble, about 5 minutes (one visible bubble is sufficient!).
4. Immediately pour this custard into the food processor with the chocolate, add the butter, and run until smooth, about 1 minute.
5. Pour the pudding into eight 6-ounce ramekins or teacups, or one large decorative bowl. Let cool, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to 2 days, and serve with whipped cream or chocolate curls.
Reprinted from The Perfect Finish by Bill Yossas (c) 2010. Used with permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Working at BookPage has a lot of perks, but one of the best, in my opinion, is getting to look at and read great new books before they're even in the stores. This fall will see the publication of plenty of nonfiction sure-to-be-bestsellers. Here are some of the season's highlights:
Laura Hillenbrand, author of the blockbuster hit Seabiscuit, returns on November 16 with a story of adventure and survival during World War II. Unbroken follows young bombardier Louis Zamperini through his incredible ordeal after his plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean. Hillenbrand's long-awaited follow-up to Seabiscuit will not disappoint her legions of fans.
Several excellent new biographies will hit shelves this fall, including Ron Chernow's Washington: A Life (Oct. 5); Jane Leavy's The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood (Oct. 12); Michael Korda's Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia (Nov. 16); and the Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1, which goes on sale Nov. 15. Twain left instructions that his memoirs should remain unpublished for 100 years after his death, so that he could feel free to speak his mind frankly. Who knows what revelations those pages might contain?
In other nonfiction news, Bill Bryson is back this season with At Home: A Short History of Private Life (Oct. 5), in which Bryson narrows his focus from A Short History of Nearly Everything to the confines of his own house, while Simon Winchester's Atlantic (Nov. 2) calls itself a "biography" of the Atlantic Ocean, weaving in both historical facts and personal details from Winchester's own experiences at sea. And on Oct. 26, Oliver Sacks (Musicophilia) treads new ground with The Mind's Eye, a collection of essays on the interplay between vision and recognition, reading and communication, and other brainteasers, including Sacks' reflections on his own experience with eye cancer.
And finally, for those looking for a lighter read, Nora Ephron once more taps into the thoughts and concerns of "women of a certain age" with I Remember Nothing (Nov. 9), a follow-up to the major bestseller I Feel Bad About My Neck, while Vicki Myron returns to the subject of her beloved "small-town library cat" with Dewey's Nine Lives (Oct. 12), a collection of stories about and inspired by Dewey.
With so many excellent books to choose from, which one will you read first?